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Fear raised on Israel using white phosphorous in Gaza & Lebanon

Fear raised on Israel using white phosphorous in Gaza & Lebanon

Fear raised on Israel using white phosphorous in Gaza & Lebanon

Fear raised on Israel using white phosphorous in Gaza & Lebanon

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  • Fear raised on Israel using white phosphorous in Gaza & Lebanon.
  • Israel has faced similar accusations during the 2008-2009 conflict.
  • Israel’s response targeted Hamas within the Gaza Strip.
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The alleged use of white phosphorus munitions by Israel in its recent military operations in Gaza and Lebanon has raised significant international concerns, as reported by the Human Rights Watch (HRW).

The HRW’s report emphasizes that “the use of white phosphorus in Gaza, one of the most densely populated areas in the world, magnifies the risk to civilians and violates the international humanitarian law prohibition on putting civilians at unnecessary risk” amid escalating tensions in the region

In response to these allegations Israel’s military, stated that they were “currently not aware of the use of weapons containing white phosphorus in Gaza” but refrained from commenting on the allegations related to their use of such munitions in Lebanon.

These allegations are not new, as Israel has faced similar accusations of using white phosphorus in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict, resulting in civilian casualties and international criticism.

The HRW’s report has reignited these concerns and has drawn attention to the ongoing use of this incendiary substance.

The HRW supports its claims with video evidence from Lebanon and Gaza, recorded on October 10 and 11, showing “multiple airbursts of artillery-fired white phosphorus over the Gaza City port and two rural locations along the Israel-Lebanon border.”

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While white phosphorus is not explicitly banned, using it in densely populated civilian areas like Gaza may constitute a violation of international humanitarian law.

Lama Fakih, the Middle East and North Africa Director at the HRW, highlighted the risks, stating that “Any time that white phosphorus is used in crowded civilian areas, it poses a high risk of excruciating burns and lifelong suffering.”

The chemical properties of white phosphorus are concerning, as it ignites upon exposure to atmospheric oxygen and continues to burn until it lacks oxygen or is exhausted, generating intense heat.

Upon contact, it can induce severe burns, both thermally and chemically, penetrating deep into the body due to its high fat solubility.

The report also underscores that white phosphorus fragments can worsen injuries, persisting even after medical treatment and potentially entering the bloodstream, leading to multiple organ failure.

Furthermore, survivors often face traumatic experiences, including painful treatment and disfiguring scars, which can lead to psychological distress and social isolation.

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The conflict between Israel and Hamas has intensified in the wake of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood initiated by Hamas in response to escalating violence against Palestinians and the alleged storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.

Israel’s response, Operation Swords of Iron, targeted Hamas within the Gaza Strip.

The ongoing violence has resulted in significant casualties, with at least 1,300 people losing their lives this week alone, including children. The situation has also heightened tensions between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.

Both Palestinian and Israeli casualties mount, raising international concerns about the impact on civilians caught in the crossfire as the conflict continues.

World leaders and organizations are closely monitoring the situation and its consequences.

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